I just purchased a used Dan Wesson .357 mag revolver at a local show. In the dim light of the building I had noticed that there was some red stuff on the sides. I first thought it was just lint from a felt cloth and figured it was no big deal, I can clean it when I get home. Once home and upon further examination I found it to be red paint (yes it is paint and not some other red substance) that someone had removed the majority of. No big deal it is a used gun and I got it at a good price so I'll just clean it up better. Of course the first thought to come to mind is that perhaps it was a rental gun at a shooting range. But then when I tried to chamber a round in the cylinder it would not go but about half way in. Nor would it take a 38 spl. round as well. I then found small split sleeves inserted into each chamber. It seems their sole purpose is to prevent the gun from being loaded with live ammo. I pressed them out with a small wooden dowel. They do not seem to have any powder residue on them so I do not think that is was used for some kind of blank firing gun. I do not know of any other shorter cartridge that you could chamber in a .357 safely. Even if you could the sleeves would be a bad idea to have in the chamber as it could cause major problems when fired. I have looked it over closely and it does not seem to have any cracks or breaks in it. Which eliminates my second thought, that it was painted red to indicate that it was unsafe to fire. There is almost no wear on the breech face to indicate that it has been shot much and minimal wear on the finish that you would find from holster wear. I am really quite puzzled with this. Any suggestions?